Men's basketball: A slightly strange scenario in the OUA West

There is one playoff spot left to be determined in the OUA West, and Guelph will clinch it if they win tomorrow, or if Brock loses (or, of course, both happen).

You might think that the only other outcome of those two games -- a Brock win and a Guelph loss -- will lead to the Badgers taking the 6 seed. That's not entirely true.

In an interesting twist, the eliminated Warriors will have a say in the outcome, even though they of course cannot catch either team, and the team they are playing (McMaster) cannot be caught by either team.

Let's assume Guelph loses and Brock wins. (Technically, once Guelph/Windsor is over, we'll already know who won Waterloo/McMaster, which starts an hour earlier, but bear with me here.)

That puts both teams at 9-13. If nobody else is at 9-13, the tiebreaker is head-to-head record (tied at 1-1) followed by aggregate score, which Brock wins 156-146. Easy, right?

But Waterloo, currently 8-13, can beat McMaster and end up in a three-way tie, causing their games to be thrown into the head-to-head tiebreaker as well:

  • Brock: 0-2 against Waterloo, 1-1 against Guelph, 1-3 overall
  • Guelph: 2-0 against Waterloo, 1-1 against Brock, 3-1 overall
  • Waterloo: 2-0 against Brock, 0-2 against Guelph, 2-2 overall

That may seem unfair -- the Badgers finish ahead of the Gryphs in a direct sense, yet that's taken away from them because of their games against a third party -- but, after all, had Brock gone 1-1 in those games instead of 0-2, we wouldn't even be talking about this.

The Gryphons have made an impressive and nail-biting run lately, knocking off Windsor and Laurier by a combined four points to get themselves back within eyesight of sixth place. And by halftime of their game tomorrow, they'll see just how much the last 20 minutes against the Lancers will mean to their post-season possibilities.
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